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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Military / World War II
  • Language:English
  • Pages:42
  • Paperback ISBN:9780578279824

Marie of Bruyeres

A Little French Girl Meets Her Japanese-American Liborators.

by Carl B. Williams

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In both English and French, "Marie of Bruyeres" tells the touching story of a little French farm girl who, with her mother and father, experiences the dark days of occupation and the incredible joy of freedom that is restored through liberation by Japanese-American soldiers. Based on the actual events of October 1944 and seen from a child's point of view, the story explains why the town of Bruyeres has commemorated their liberation every year since 1947. Beautifully illustrated by internationally known illustrator Matthew King, "Marie of Bruyeres" is a story that children will ask to read over and over again.
"Marie of Bruyeres" tells the story of a little French farm girl who lives for nearly four years under military occupation by foreign soldiers. In October 1944, when the leaves are changing color and the harvest is gathered, Marie experiences the beginning of liberation of her town. Explosions shake the ground and Marie's house and fires break out in the town. Afraid for their safety, she and her family hide in their cellar where they wait for the fighting to end. On the fourth day the fighting stops and it is quiet. Marie peeks out of her house and sees soldiers she does not recognize. One of them gives her a chocolate bar. She is so surprised that she forgets to say "Thank you." Later she learns that these soldiers are Japanese-Americans from Hawaii and the Mainland of America. When the war in Europe ends, the town builds a simply monument to their liberators on Hill 555. In 2017 a "Torch Monument," sculpted in the image of the shoulder patch worn by the liberators, is placed and dedicated. Marie and others have a place where they can go to offer the "Thank you" that Marie forgot to give to the soldier who gave her the chocolate and, most importantly, their freedom.
About the author
Carl B Williams is retired from government service where he held various state and federal appointments. He is an amateur historian with special interest in WWII and the Japanese-American 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends and Families of Nisei Veterans. The author was encouraged to write the "Marie" book by his wife June, whose uncle, Kiyoshi Ono, fought at the Battle of Bruyères and the Rescue of the Lost Battalion. In 2016, the Author was appointed by the City of Bruyères, as a volunteer, to design and raise funds for the "Torch Monument." The "Torch Monument" is based on the design of the shoulder patch worn by the Nisei soldiers who, at great cost, liberated Bruyères and rescued the trapped "Lost Texas Battalion." The granite sculpture on Hill 555 was dedicated in 2017 by then Mayor Yves Bonjean. The Author believes that the stories of these heroic Hawaiian and Mainland soldiers, and the hardships suffered by the inhabitants of Bruyères, will be lost to future generations unless young people are stimulated to learn more about this important history.
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